This is an archived post from “The Aroma of Bread,” and was first published 20 Dec 2015.
It was a Saturday before Christmas, maybe in 1988 or 89, and Gary and I had headed out to Hollandtown to get some work done for Holland Veal. Walking into the house we were greeted by the wonderful smell of cookies baking. The smell of Christmas at Butch and Marie’s.
Entering the warm and wonderful smelling kitchen, we found Butch sitting at the kitchen table preparing the cookie tins for filling while Marie was working at the counter. They were relaxed, content in their companionship and conversation.
What makes this memory stick is not the relationship of my in-laws (that was constant) but how Butch was prepping the cookie tins. While I would just rip off a piece of waxed paper and stuff it in between layers, he was sitting at the table with pencil and scissors at hand, tracing and cutting each waxed paper round to fit perfectly inside the tin. He did this every year for Marie, and each year each tin was a perfect presentation of cookies.
The recipe that I am sharing today is a family favorite – for both my family and the Fassbenders. Marie and I made them for our families each year, but with one difference, the chocolate. Toffee Squares are a wonderful crunch of toffee flavored cookie topped by chocolate.
My recipe from an old Betty Crocker Cooky Book uses the heat of the “just out of the oven” cookie to melt the squares of Hershey bar that you quickly place on the cookie, then spread out. I shared this quick and easy way of adding the chocolate with Marie one year, but she “stubbornly” continued to melt chocolate in a bowl over boiling water. Either way, the cookies didn’t last long in either home.
Updated Addition: In November 2021 I unpacked a box of Marie’s old cookbooks and sat down with all of the loose pages to determine in which book they belonged. In the pile was a tattered book that Marie had stapled back together, and in this book dated November 1953, I found her Toffee Square recipe. It is pictured below with a transcription of her much smudged notes.
Before there were food bloggers, Instagram, and YouTube, there were community cookbooks. Cookbooks compiled and edited by women’s organizations, churches, and other groups, mostly prepared as fundraisers. The women of the community would put out a call for the group’s best recipes. These were then collected, organized into categories, and prepared for printing. Some were typewritten, some printed in the cook’s own handwriting, many include illustrations made by the artist in the organization. All were prized upon publication and shared with family and friends all over the state and the country.
My mother-in-law collected these cookbooks and used them often. Upon trying a recipe she would write notes to herself on the recipe such as any changes she had made, or most often, we will find a “good,” or, “v. good” written above the recipe. Most often it was some sort of baked good that she had tried. Her family could be fussy about meat and vegetables, especially onions, but there was never a hesitation to try a new recipe for a baked good. I have been collecting and compiling my version of a community cookbook. As I gather the recipes that Marie had deemed worthy of a “good” comment, first as a blog titled “The Aroma of Bread” and here, just tagged as The Aroma of Bread, and indexed under Marie’s Recipes.
When we were preparing to move to Rhode Island, we worried about finding a hairdresser. Sarah put a request on her “hairdresser message board” asking if there was anyone in Rhode Island that would like to take on four of her clients from Wisconsin. The call was answered by Sara, a Wisconsin transplant. As luck would have it, her salon was not that far from our new house.
Sara recently returned from a visit home with a few treasures that she happened to share an image of on social media. One image caused my daughter to stop and take a second look. Showing me the image she asked, “Doesn’t Grandma have this book?” Running upstairs to where I had recently unpacked the box with the cookbooks, she came back downstairs with the same book.
Our Favorite Recipes By The Ladies Of St. John’s Ev. Lutheran Church, Compiled and Edited by St. John’s Guild, West Bend, Wisconsin. Copyright 1949, 1959 St. John’s Guild. A book so well received, and so good, that it was reprinted ten years after its first printing! In my experience, at the ten-year mark, a NEW cookbook was collected and prepared. Sara’s copy is the original from 1949, where ours is the 1959 reprint. Here we are in 2021, two transplanted families from Wisconsin, neither from Washington County, both having in their family collection the same church cookbook.
Paging through the cookbook looking for tell-tale signs that a recipe had been attempted, or was a favorite, we found a few. The first to catch our attention was this sticky page that was Margaret Rohde’s recipe for “Lemon Jello Salad” where Marie noted, “I used large pk jello.”
This archived post from “The Aroma of Bread,” was first published 11 Oct 2015
On October 4th, Marie’s younger brother Leo’s celebrated his 89th birthday, and yesterday would have been his 65th wedding anniversary. Sadly, he lost the love of his life, Angela, on 26 Sep 2011. But out of this sadness, a great friendship was born. My daughter, Kate sent Leo a sympathy card at the time of Angie’s passing due to the inevitable complications from Alzheimers. Leo responded to Kate’s message of sympathy, and soon monthly letters were being sent back and forth between New York City and Hilbert, Wisconsin, and in-person visits when Kate was home to see us.
Kate is home for a time, and on Friday headed off with birthday cupcakes to visit Leo. They had a great visit just the two of them – no mom and dad to put a damper on the flow of conversation that happens throughout the year via the written word. We did make one request. We asked Kate to ask Leo about a story he told while we were gathered in Marie’s room at the St. Paul Home shortly before her death. What we remembered from that day, was that Leo had gotten into trouble at school, and a letter was being sent home for his parents from the principal. Marie was asked to intercept the letter.
As Leo told the story to Kate, it happened his freshman year of high school, which was the 1941-1942 school year. During this time it was very unusual for a student to have a car available for them to drive to school. There was such a person in Leo’s class. Kate didn’t get the impression that this car was a point of jealousy for Leo, but it must have created some annoyance. So Leo and a friend cooked up a plan. They decided to let air out of the tires of the car. They were caught. Taken to the principal’s office, the other boy was let go without punishment. Much like in today’s school system, athletes, especially during the season, are given special treatment for bad behavior. As Leo recalls, this boy was on the basketball team. Leo’s punishment was to be a letter sent home to his parents, granted this was not much of a punishment, but the “crime” did not really harm anything, or anyone. Knowing the letter was to be sent, Leo asked Marie to intercept the letter, which she gladly did.
Leo’s parting comment about this incident? It was not the first time that Marie helped him to get out of trouble, and it wasn’t the last.
This archived post from “The Aroma of Bread,” was first published 20 Apr 2014
Today is April 20th, Easter Sunday. After the winter that we all just lived through, one would have hoped for a warm and pleasant day, but it is only 52 degrees. And it is raining. Which brings to mind Easter of 1984, which was a cold, rainy, April 22nd.
Butch and Marie loved to hold Easter Egg hunts for their grandchildren. When the weather was warm and clear, they would hide the plastic eggs filled with treats in their yard and around the house. But what to do when it was cold and rainy? Five grandchildren racing around the house while Marie had the kitchen full of meal prep, was not a recipe for a relaxing and joyful Easter Sunday. Butch’s solution: head to the factory for an indoor hunt.
Early Easter morning, Butch, Gary and Dan would walk over to White Clover Dairy armed with a bag of filled plastic eggs. Heading for the basement warehouse they would hide the eggs on racks and pallets, both high and low.
Later that morning, the grandchildren would be let loose to run through the warehouse collecting the eggs. One flaw in Butch’s system. He didn’t count the number of eggs that were being hidden, nor did he track how many were found. For weeks following the Easter hunt the warehouse manager would appear in either Butch or Gary’s office delivering a missed plastic egg.
Marie’s Apple Crisp
8″ x 12″ pan or 1 1/2 recipe for a 13″ x 9″
6 apples 1 cup flour 1/2 cup butter, softened 1/2 cup brown sugar 2 Tbsp granulated sugar 1/2 tsp cinnamon
Peel and slices apples into pan.
Combine flour, brown sugar and butter until crumbly, set aside.
I started this long process by asking the question. Who built the house that is now known as 1515 South Park Avenue?
City documents tell us that the house was built in 1875, a detached garage was built in 1899, a gazebo in 1980, and a utility shed in 1997. That’s it. We know from the newspaper records that Harry worked to improve the structure, but the city is not very helpful in providing the information we need to actually “see” the house as it was, and what improvements were made.
One of the enduring stories is that Edwin Yule built the home for his bride. Another story states that Harry Cook built the home for his bride. My answer is yes to both.
We know there was a structure on the property when S.A. purchased the 16 acres. This structure was most likely a small farmhouse. Comfortable but not palatial.
The house was in the perfect location to house a manager of the paper mill so he could easily “keep an eye on things.” It was also the perfect location to host S.A. Cook when he was in town, as it was just a short walk to the mill. The house would give Harry a home, and provide a room for Maud and Charles Lancaster when they were in Alexandria visiting. In 1901 S.A. offered Ed Yule the opportunity to reside in the home following his marriage to Georgina Lemon. The couple was to oversee the remodeling needed for the home to become the family base. And so it was that Ed Yule “built” the home for his bride.
Several years passed, Ed and Georgina were still residents in “the home south of the city.” In 1917 as Harry made plans to marry Martha Wheeler Paine, it was time to remodel and expand the home, to make it the Cook House. In addition to expanding the home, Harry enhanced the beautiful grounds by adding a tennis court so that he and Martha could entertain guests with some “fast tennis.”
The house was to be remodeled with entertaining in mind. Harry had “friends in high places” who would often visit. Among them were the Dodge Brothers of Detroit, Michigan. The Dodge Brothers, Horace Elgin Dodge, and John Francis Dodge  were car manufacturers, building automobiles under the Dodge Brothers brand. The company was sold to Chrysler in 1928. Other noted guests were Senator and Mrs. Austin M. Retheford, a democratic senator from Madison County, Indiana. The new design was perfect for entertaining.
Harry contracting sleeping sickness in January 1919 changed the family’s use of the home. As Harry recuperated in Florida, New York, and elsewhere, Martha chose to take their son Hosford, and move to Oshkosh, Wisconsin to reside with her parents. Harry’s continuing struggle to recover put a great strain on the marriage.  The couple divorced in 1928, and Martha received in the divorce settlement: “A portion of the furnishings of the Cook home just south of the city, which has been unused since the separation…”
The house sat vacant for almost a decade coinciding with much of the Prohibition era lasting from 1920 to 1933. Is this the foundation for the stories about the home being a brothel, a gin house, bordello, and gambling joint? A more recent owner, Linda Howell stated: “Back in the gin days, it was a bordello and a gambling joint.” 76-year-old Helen Melnick “remembers those days. ‘But my dad wouldn’t let me go there. He read the newspaper.’” Empty houses are great fodder for a rumor.
On Saturday, June 23, 1934, the Colonnade Inn, “remodeled and refurnished” opened as a place for “special and private parties as well as prepared meals upon reservation.” Alexandria’s “New Eating Place” was managed by Mrs. Margaret Leachman, Miss Marcia Barton, and Miss Ruth Harrick, all of Anderson.”
The Anderson woman only operated the Colonnade Inn for a few months, as it was announced in November Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Daniels had leased the home from Ed Yule and planned to open a restaurant. Arthur, a Madison County sheriff, and his wife, Georganna, were adding a new heating system and managing repairs on the house. After a soft opening, the Daniels formerly opened the Colonnade on Sunday, April 21, 1935. “The management received many compliments on the beauty of the Colonnade and its many accommodations for tourists’ dining and group entertaining. Delicious food was served to guests who enjoyed the hospitality of the place.” Over the next few years, The Times-Tribune was flooded with announcements of meetings at the Colonnade for every club, sorority, and organization. The events ranged from breakfast, lunch, or dinner meetings, holiday parties, even supper-dances, complete with a full orchestra.
The 1940 census gives us a glimpse into their lives. Arthur was now Alexandria’s chief of police, and Georganna was running the tea room assisted by her sister-in-law, 63-year-old Sarah Daniels. The census asks the number of hours worked the week of March 24-30, 1940, and both women responded: 70. Arthur was the informant that day, and he reported that his income as chief of police was $1,440 and that his wife had an income in 1939 of $780.00.
By March 1942, the Daniels had turned the management of the Colonnade Tea Room over to Peggy Stephenson and Cele Weisse. A notable event that year was the Lion’s Club “Charter Night lawn dinner party” held on July 16, 1942. The club had recently organized, and approximately 115 members and guests of the Madison County Lions Clubs gathered to present the Alexandria club with its charter.
On October 2, 1942, the Muncie Evening Press announced that the “Colonnade Becomes Casualty of the War.” The Daniels “who have operated the establishment for the past nine years, announced that restrictions of war transportation made it impossible to continue on a profitable basis, and that they have decided to close the business for the duration.” During their tenancy “the house had been enlarged and remodeled” “so that as many as three or four groups could be accommodated with social conveniences and luncheons or dinners at the same time.”
As they prepared to close the business, the Daniels were looking to sell some items. They took out a classified ad and listed for sale: a Kurtzman grand piano, slip-covered davenport, an oak dining room suite, a china closet, occasional chairs, dishes, a four gas stove, silverware, a chest of drawers, and “numerous other articles.”
The next tenants were Mr. and Mrs. Martin Burden and sons, who The Daily Times-Tribune reported as having moved back to Alexandria from Tell City in sorter Indiana on November 3, 1944, and were to “make their home at the Colonnade south of the city.” They remained in the home until May 1957 when they moved to 1112 South Harrison Street in Alexandria.
The home was purchased by Mr. and Mrs. Paul Zimmer a year or two later, and during their stay they remodeled the kitchen, adding a “built-in sink,” range, refrigerator, dishwasher, garbage disposal, and a planning desk. The kitchen also had birch walls with walnut exposed beams. When they put it on the market in 1961 the home was presented as “one of Indiana’s famous showplaces, “At this time the house was situated on a “four-acre wooded hillcrest,” and was “exquisitely decorated, has steam boiler and new aluminum storm windows.” The Herman Brown advertisement stated that the house could easily be converted to commercial use, such as a restaurant, rest home, or clinic.
The house was still on the market in October 1961 when a potential buyer filed a petition with the Madison County Planning Commission. The prospective buyer wished to open a restaurant and sought to have the 2.5 acres rezoned from residential to B-1” business. The petition was granted.
Closing on the sale of the house Mr. and Mrs. Mark Green, along with their son, Dan, prepared to open a “party house.” The main level had a seating capacity of 80, and they planned to offer family-style meals, catering to children. Steaks, chicken, shrimp, and “Mrs. Green’s famous ‘ham loaf’” were on the menu. What they called a “separate small room,” the solarium, had a seating capacity of 15 and would be reserved for teas and committee meetings. The upstairs room would be the “party” room, with opaque window light controls to allow “films and slides to be shown during daylight hours.” They held their grand opening on December 1, 1961.
Two years later, in November 1963, the Greens were looking to sell the property. The building, equipment, goodwill, and all future party reservations were all for sale.
In early 1964 the home was purchased by Dr. Thomas F. (Fred) and Lois Owen. Building on its notoriety as “one of Alexandria’s most beautiful residences,” Dr. and Mrs. Owen embarked on a remodeling project that was the subject of a newspaper article that provides another glimpse inside the home. The house had 15 rooms on 2 floors, plus a basement. There were 3 1/2 bathrooms. The 2.1-acre tract included a large garage plus a chicken house.
At the rear of the main floor were three bedrooms and a bath which were believed to have been used by servants in earlier years. The space also included a butler’s pantry and two other first-floor rooms. In the large pantry was a signal system used in earlier times to indicate the location of rooms requesting assistance from servants.
The full basement in the house was completely plastered. The basement included a furnace room, pump room, and a fruit cellar. There was also a pool room with a fireplace which was designed to be shut off and used as a bomb shelter.
The Owens installed glass doors on the two-way fireplace between the living room and solarium to reduce energy costs and had the living room’s coffered ceiling stained to match their furniture color, which was “somewhere between fruitwood and pecan.” The family was using the solarium as a family room but planned on furnishing the room with wrought iron and moving the family room upstairs.
In 1985 the Owens were ready to move on. They sold the house to Linda Howell, who in December 1985 was renovating the house to accommodate eight elderly residents in a facility she called Elder House. In 1991, the Elder House was home to 11 women and contained 13 bedrooms, five bathrooms, sun porch, living room, dining room, and kitchen. By 1999 business had slowed, and Linda “opened a bed and breakfast, while also continuing to house elderly on the ground floor.”
The house was listed for public auction In December 2002. It was appraised at $400,000 and described as a “Beautiful updated 22 room mansion, 12 bedrooms, seven bathrooms, spacious living, dining, family room and foyer areas. Newer kitchen w/appliances. Chair lift to upper level. Lovely garden with gazebo, small rented 1 bedroom home unattached to mansion, covered carport, beautifully landscaped with large mature trees, three fireplaces, inside servants stairway, outside stairway, office areas, exterior wood and vinyl siding, gas hot water heat, gas water heater. 7512 sq ft.”
In February 2007 eBay was the auction platform used when Franz Reheild from California put the house on the market. With a “new room recently added to the building.” Where? The article states he took out a building permit. I am speculating, but is this when the door was moved to the center of the main house, and the two front windows were removed? The eBay sale fell through, and the house was back on the market in April 2007.
March 2009 Jimmy Peters was the purchaser of the house. He placed it back on the market in May of 2016. It remained in his possession until February 2020, when Clearleaf Short Alternative Fund picked up the house for $41,000. The firm sold the home in December for $80,000.
Today in September 2021, the house is back on the market. The Zillow listing reads: the “property has 2.1 acre and two homes. It is zoned residential and commercial. Large home has new roof needs complete re hab. Small home has new roof, new wiring, new plumbing, New HVAC, new tankless water heater. Garage converted home into a 2 bed home. Kitchen cabinets are new and ready for new owner to install.”
According to the map there are actually two dwellings in this section. Was the building in the west half moved to join the building in the east half? Not unheard of.
Both were to die in 1920. John in January from the Spanish flu, and Horace in December. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dodge
Linda Ferris, “Elder House to open house on Sunday,” The Times=Tribune, 16 Jan 1991, Wednesday, p. 1 & p. 8, col. 1 & top; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 20 Jun 2016).
“New Eating Place To Open Sunday,” The Times-Tribune, 20 Jun 1934, Wednesday, p. 1, col. 2; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 4 Jun 2016).
“Colonnade Inn To Be Reopened,” The Times-Tribune, 9 Nov 1934, Wednesday, p. 5, col 4; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 4 Jun 2016).
“Colonnade Is Opened Sunday,” The Times-Tribune, 23 Apr 1935, Tuesday, p. 3, col. 5; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 6 Jul 2016).
1940 U.S. census, Madison County, Indiana, population schedule, Alexandria, 3rd Ward, Monroe Township, enumeration district (ED) 48-54, sheet 14 (penned), p. 328A (stamped), household 322, Arthur Daniels household; digital images, Ancestry.com (www.ancestry.com : accessed 15 Sep 2021); citing National Archives and Records Administration microfilm T627, roll 1073.
“Business And Professional Review of Alexandria,” The Times-Tribune, 20 Mar 1942, Friday, p. 3, col. 3; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 6 Jul 2016).
“Lions Club Is Given Charter,” The Daily Times-Tribune, 16 Jul 1942, Thursday, p. 1, col. 2; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 15 Sep 2021).
“Colonnades Becomes Casualty of the War,” The Muncie Evening Press, 2 Oct 1942, Friday, p. 2, col. 4; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 21 Dec 2017).
“Classified,” The Daily Times-Tribune, 12 Oct 1942, Monday, p. 4, col. 5; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 12 Sep 2021).
“Burdens Coming Back Here to Reside Again,” The Daily Times-Tribune, 3 Nov 1944, Friday, p. 4, col. 3; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 12 Sep 2021).
“For Sale,” The Anderson Sunday Herald, 2 Apr 1961, Sunday, p. 27, col. 8; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 12 Sep 2021).
“Rezoning Approved,” The Times-Tribune, 12 Oct 1961, Thursday, p. 1, col. 5; digital images, Newspapera.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 6 Jul 2016).
“‘Colonnade’ to be party house,” The Times-Tribune, 2 Nov 1961, Thursday, p. 1 & p. 3, col. 7-8, & 5; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 6 Jul 2016).
“FOR SALE!,” The Times-Tribune, 14 Nov 1963, Thursday, p. 7, col. 6; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 6 Jul 2016).
“Planning to build… …or remodel?,” The Times-Tribune, 15 Apr 1964, Wednesday, p. Builders Edition, col. 5-8; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 30 May 2016).
“Planning to build… …or remodel?.”
Mary Graves, “Elder House comes to Colonnades,” The Times-Tribune, 4 Dec 1985, Wednesday, p. 1 & p.2, col. 1; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 27 May 2016).
Jenna M. McKnight, “Restful Inn.,” Pharos Tribune, 13 Jan 2002, Sunday, p. C1, col. full page; digital images, NewspaperARCHIVE (www.newspaperarchive.com : accessed 17 May 2016).
The Times-Tribune, 27 Nov 2002, Wednesday, p. 10, col. 1; digital images, Newspapers.com (www.newspapers.com : accessed 17 Jun 2016).
In the United States, a federal census is taken every ten years, 1930 was a census year. The Edwin Yules were enumerated in their home at 212 Lincoln Avenue in Alexandria, with a stated value of $10,000, and they owned a radio. Edwin was now 55 years old, and Georgina was 54. Ed gave his occupation as Superintendent of a Paper Company, and that he was a wage earner. 
49-year-old Harry Cook enumerated in Atlantic City, New Jersey, was paying $333 per month for rooms in the Ambassador Bungalows.  He claimed he was retired. Residing with him was his “servant/nurse,” Jessie Carter Duncan, age 38. 
Charles and Maud Lancaster were not enumerated in 1930 as they were on their annual trip to Europe and did not land in New York until May 9th, having departed from Southampton on May 3rd. The passenger list states that their permanent residence was in Alexandria.
Harry was never able to recover from the sleeping sickness. Over the years there would be bright moments where he appeared to be on the mend, but soon there would be a relapse and a continued slow decline. On January 23, 1931, Ed and Georgina were called to Harry’s bedside as he “had taken a turn for the worse.” He passed away two days later with both Ed and Georgina at his side; Charles and Maud were in Paris, France. Thankfully the Yules were there to make the arrangements. Ed contacted the paper mill to let superintendent and long-time friend William Brannon know that they would accompany the body to Neenah, reaching Chicago at 8 a.m. on the 28th, and leaving Chicago on the 9 a.m. train. William traveled to Chicago to meet the train and to accompany the funeral party to Neenah. Arriving in Neenah, the body was taken immediately to the Oak Hill Cemetery Chapel where a brief funeral service was conducted by the pastor of the Presbyterian Church. Harry was buried near his parents in the Cook family plot.
As Maud was in Europe, Ed Yule went to the Madison Circuit Court on February 3rd to qualify as administrator, and he “took immediate charge of the settlement of the estate.” Maud returned to the United States in May, and in August both she and Ed were qualified as executors, and the will was filed for probate in the circuit court. Included in the will was a $50,000 life insurance policy made payable to the estate. The Notice of Final settlement was published on February 27, 1933, and the final settlement occurred on March 17th. “No sale of any assets of the estate was made in carrying out the provisions of the will.” “Among property assigned to the sister in the distribution of the estate is one half-interest in home property in Neenah, Wis., one-half interest in seven lots in Orono, [Hennepin Co.] Minn.; certain interests in lumber lands in Canada; 950 shares of common stock in the Alexandria Paper Company; 423 shares in the Phillips Company, of Chicago; 17 shares Anderson Banking Company stock; 13 shares in Manufacturers National Bank, Neenah, Wis., and 30 shares in the Great Northern Life Insurance Company.” The Cook house in Alexandria was not listed in the published list of assets.
Neenah, Wisconsin was always “home” for Maud, and the S.A. Cook Armory built by her father and dedicated in 1907 to the cities of Neenah and Menasha, was just one reason for regular trips to the city. When her father dedicated the building to Company I, he did not anticipate a second world war which resulted in the reorganization of the military forces and thus left the city without a designated military unit. And so the building reverted to the Cook estate. Maud would not donate the building until 1937, the new deed had “no legal strings attached” other than that it should always be known as the S.A. Cook Armory.
It was on one such trip home in June 1933 to visit friends, when Charles contracted pneumonia. He passed away on June 26th at the Valley Inn. He was 65 years old. Maud accompanied her husband’s body to Manchester, Vermont, arriving July 5th on the 2:38 p.m. train. They went directly to Dellwood Cemetery, where the pastor of the congregational church conducted the funeral service.
In January 1936, Maud and Edwin Yule determined that it would be in the best interest of the Alexandria Paper Company to reorganize. The company reorganized with a capital stock of 3,000 shares of $100 par value.
Ed was keeping busy as manager of the Alpaco Farms, and his February 12, 1936 shipment of hogs made the news due to it being one of the largest shipments from Alexandria in a long time. The shipment consisted of 334 head, averaging 246 pounds for a total weight of 82,280 pounds. The hogs averaged $25.07 per head for a net receipt of $8,474.03.
Nine years after closing the paper mill, it was time to start selling bits and pieces of the mill. Ed Yule as treasurer announced on March 13, 1937, that the paper-making machinery and equipment had been sold to Abe Cooper of Syracuse, New York. Maud, as the owner of the factory, traveled from New York City to “close the deal.” The thirty acres of land that the factory was built upon was “not included in the deal.” In September 1939, “several of the five-ton rolls from the old paper making machines” were sold to a Chicago firm. With the removal of the rolls “the old mill will be practically empty.” And in March of 1940 work began to dismantle the building.
The building was sold to the Hetz Construction Company of Warren, Ohio, and work to dismantle the mill began, with all materials such as second-hand lumber, sheeting, I-beams, pipes, etc. offered for sale. Eleven local men were hired for the demolition, which was expected to take two months. Shinkle Wrecking Company was assisting the Hetz Construction Company in the demolition.
I wonder what thoughts were going through Maud and Edwin Yule’s heads as they stood and watched the demolition of a dream. Maud was certainly there to witness the event as she was enumerated in the 1940 United States Federal Census on April 26, 1940, residing as a Lodger with Ed and Georgina.
The census enumerator listed the three living at 212 Lincoln Avenue, the value of the home: $6,000. Ed was the one to open the door to the enumerator and to answer the questions. He stated he was 66 years old, he had completed four years of high school. He listed his occupation as that of a farmer, receiving a salary of $4,300, and has an income of $50 or more from sources other than wages or salary. Ed stated that his wife, Georgina, was 65 years old, had completed four years of high school, and was not employed, but receives income of $50 or more from sources other than wages or salary. Residing with them as a lodger was Maud Lancaster, age 63, Widowed. He told the census enumerator that she had completed one year of college and that she was residing with them on April 1, 1935. She was unable to work but receives an income of $50 or more from sources other than wages or salary.
In 1948 Maud was approached by the Alexandria Conservation and Gun Club looking to lease “the old paper mill ground, south of Alexandria.” She agreed. In 1950 the club conducted 36 hunts, participating in a state-wide crow war, finishing third. They also “conducted Thanksgiving and Christmas turkey shoots; released 150 pheasants and 100 quail, and sponsored three successful fox drives. A temporary wind-break was installed on the club grounds and installed two traps which will throw single or double birds.” Six years later in September 1954 the club had “to give up their shoot grounds at the south end of Harrison Street on the Paper Mill farm,” now owned by Ed Yule. The club continued to “hold shoots on the Summitville club grounds, until it could find new grounds in the Alexandria area.”
Maud Christie Cook Lancaster passed away on April 7, 1949, at the Pierre Hotel in New York City. She was 70 years old. Following a service in Grace Church, her remains were brought to Manchester, Vermont, where a funeral service was held on April 9th in Zion Church. She was placed beside her husband in the Lancaster Mausoleum in Dellwood Cemetery. William Brannon’s son, Drysdale, attended the service. “Some cousins, Mr. and Mrs. Edward W. Yule of Alexandria, Ohio, [sic] came on to New York when they learned of Mrs. Lancaster’s death, but they were detained by illness from coming to Manchester for the services.”
Ed was appointed Executor of her estate on April 20, 1949. The notice of final settlement was published on October 26, 1951. No details of her will or the estate have been found, but it can be assumed that Edwin Watson Yule was her sole heir.
William H. Brannon, age 87, now the managing editor of the Marion Chronicle passed away on August 22, 1950. In 1903, he and his family had moved from Neenah to Alexandria when he took the position of superintendent of the paper mill. He remained in this position until the mill closed.
In 1958 Alexandria was in desperate need of a new school. The perfect location for the new joint system high school was 35 acres just south of the city, on land currently owned by the Yules. The Yules gifted the 35 acres that had a value of $1,000 per acre. The property was located on “11th Street Road west of the intersection of South Harrison Street and 11th Street Road.” Alexandria lore tells the story this way: “In the late 1950s, the school board was looking to build a new high school. Members approached Ed about buying 37 acres of his land on 11th street. Ed’s wife said, ‘Just give it to them,’ but Ed said that he didn’t think that was good, so he sold it to them for $1.”
On February 11, 1959, Ed lost the love of his life Georgina Louise Lemon Yule. She passed away at their home following a “lingering illness.” She was 84 years old. A member of the Presbyterian Church in Alexandria, Ed chose to have the funeral service conducted by the pastor of his church, the First Christian Church. She was first buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery in Alexandria but was moved to Crown Point Cemetery in Indianapolis, Marion County, Indiana in April 1967.
Gifting of the land for the new high school was only the beginning of Ed Yule’s legacy to the city of Alexandria. On September 8, 1965, an option was signed with Ed to buy the remaining Alpaco Farms property. The 310-acre plot was to be developed as a golf course with home sites and named the Yule Golf Course and Estates. The proposal included an 18-hole, par-72, golf course consisting of 176 acres designed by Henry Culp; approximately 200 home sites, and three ponds with connecting waterways. They planned to sell shares of common stock at $10 per share to finance the project. The first full season of golf was played in 1967.
Included in the 310 acres purchased by the Alexandria Community Development Corporation (ACDC), were the 20 acres that had been the Alexandria Paper Company campus. The acreage included the old office building, two ponds, and what remained of the crumbling paper mill. Howard and Patti King purchased this property from ACDC in May 1970 and proceeded to make the office into their home. A portion of the Cook’s dream lives on in their renovation.
In 1966 Ed celebrated his 92nd birthday. The party was held at the Alexandria Building and Loan, complete with german chocolate cake, coffee, and ice cream. Newspaperman Bud Zink sat down with him to learn more about his “origin story,” but found that “trying to bring his biography up to date following that time…is impossible. There isn’t even a record photograph of Mr. Yule to be had anywhere…but we snookered him this morning” by having a snapshot taken.
Edwin Watson Yule passed away on December 1, 1970. He was 96 years old. Funeral services were conducted by the pastor of the First Christian Church before he was entombed next to his wife in the Crown Hill Mausoleum, Indianapolis, Indiana.
The passing of Ed marked the end of an era. While much of Alexandria had long ago forgotten the Cook name and the family’s contribution to the community, my hope is that S. A., Harry, and Maud would feel that Ed had been a good steward of their legacy.
Ed Yule was a man “admired and respected by those who work with him and for him.” He “has made his mark on our town since the turn of the century.”
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The armory was torn down in 1987. The stone sign “S.A. Cook” was placed in Cook Park, Neenah, Wisconsin.
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